The Winthrop High baseball team endured a tough week, dropping three games, two of which were decided by one run that was scored in the final inning by their opponents.
â€œWeâ€™ve hit a rough patch,â€ said WHS head coach Jim Gillis. â€œBut the bottom line is that weâ€™re still playing well and the teamâ€™s spirits are high, so I have no doubt that as the season progresses, the breaks will even out for us.â€
A 1-0 loss at Salem on Monday saw a brilliant pitching effort by Viking hurler Anthony Hatzisavas go without a â€œWâ€ as Winthrop was unable to muster an offensive attack and Salem pushed across a run in the bottom of the final inning on an infield hit to come away with the victory.
â€œAnthony pitched a great game for us,â€ lauded Gillis of his righthanderâ€™s effort in which Hatziâ€™ yielded just five hits and fanned nine. â€œBut Salem manufactured a run and thatâ€™s all they needed.â€
Three days earlier last Friday, the Vikings dropped a true heartbreaker in a 4-3 loss to Lynn Classical in extra innings that saw Classical score the tying run in the seventh and the winning tally in the eighth.
Robert Swanson hurled all eight frames for Winthrop, allowing just five hits while striking out 10 enemy hitters and walking only two. â€œThis was Robâ€™s best game of the year,â€ noted Gillis. â€œHe truly deserved a better fate.â€
The Vikings had plenty of chances to put Classical away, most notably with a bases loaded, one out situation in the third and a second and third situation in the next inning. However, Winthrop could muster only one run out of each of those rallies.
â€œWe havenâ€™t been getting the timely hits that we were getting earlier in the year,â€ said Gillis. â€œWe had opportunities to blow the game open, but we didnâ€™t take advantage of them.â€
Nick McCarthy, who is leading the team with a .515 average, went 4 for 4 and drove in two runs. Tyler Pettee had the other RBI with a base hit.
Winthrop also dropped a 9-3 decision to Beverly last Wednesday. Some uncharacteristic fielding miscues by the Vikings contributed to the Beverly run production. Starting pitcher Will Milano allowed seven runs, but only two were earned, in his four and two third innings of work.
Justin Rowe came on in relief and silenced the Beverly bats (which had touched Milano for nine hits), pitching a scoreless one and one third frames.
â€œWhenever weâ€™ve used Justin in spots, heâ€™s really done the job for us,â€ praised Gillis.
Christian Howard and Joe Dâ€™Amore contributed RBI base hits for Winthrop.
Although the Vikings now stand at 5-7 on the season, they need just one more win against their remaining four Division 3 opponents in order to qualify for the state tourney. The first of those games will be this Saturday with a makeup game against Marion on the local field at 11:00.
That contest comes amidst a busy stretch for Gillis and crew in which they played Lynn English yesterday (Wednesday), host Marblehead Friday, and host Gloucester on Monday.